Pass Rusher Jason Babin 'A Perfect Fit' For Ravens
The Ravens signed 12-year veteran pass rusher Jason Babin to help offset the loss of Terrell Suggs, and early reviews are positive.
Babin signed a one-year deal for a veteran minimum salary, reported The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
ESPN's Jamison Hensley calls Babin "a perfect fit" for the Ravens.
"The Ravens should feel lucky they found someone who epitomizes the tenacity of their defense [after the season started]," wrote Hensley. "Just Google 'relentless' and Jason Babin, and see how many articles come up."
Thanks for the tip, Jamison. When I Googled those terms, here are some headlines I found: "'Relentless' Jason Babin finally unleashed" and "Babin Simply Relentless In Return." In one of the articles, Babin said he was kicked out of practice for … working too hard.
"There were times when [Coach Mike] Holmgren told me to get the 'F' out of practice because I was going too hard, and he didn't like it," Babin said in 2010. "I practice hard. I work out hard. I do everything fast. I don't like to [go half way with] anything, no matter what it is."
He also referred to himself as a Ferrari because of his speed. And then there's this little gem I found on Vine. It's just Babin getting up from a tackle vs. Arizona with a handful of hair that he tosses to the ground after flashing it to cameras.
While Babin "Plays like a Raven," don't expect the 35-year-old veteran to take over the same role Suggs had. Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw are still expected to be the starters. Babin will likely be a situational pass rusher instead of an every-down player like Suggs. He will be an important rotational piece along with Za'Darius Smith and Albert McClellan.
Babin had a very strong ninth-place ranking among 3-4 outside linebackers by Pro Football Focus last season, not far behind* *Pernell McPhee (No. 2), Suggs (4) and Dumervil (6). But Babin had about half the snaps Suggs had.
"The Ravens don't need Babin to be Terrell Suggs," wrote WNST's Luke Jones. "He just needs to be a meaningful part of the puzzle to replace his production."
Tweeted CSNBaltimore.com's Brent Harris: "Babin's job is simple – rush QB. He doesn't need to know much of Ravens defensive calls, will be ready for Sunday."
Babin isn't the same Pro Bowler from 2010 and 2011. He's coming off a season in which he recorded just two sacks in part-time duty, but that's only one less than Upshaw has had in his three NFL seasons.
Starting four games for the Jets last year, he also amassed 27 quarterback hurries and seven quarterback hits while playing 470 snaps.
"Babin understands what it's like to play for the Ravens after spending time in Rex Ryan's defense," wrote Hensley. "Given what was available, Babin is the perfect fit for the Baltimore defense."
Week 2 Power RankingsThe combination of a close defeat in Denver and the loss of the Suggs has the Ravens tumbling down the power rankings in Week 2. They dropped in every single list below, some further down than others.
The Baltimore Sun: No. 7 (dropped two spots)
"The Ravens lost a game to what might be one of the NFL's top three defenses because they didn't score Sunday, but a lot of teams might do that. What's bigger news is that their own defense looks to have taken a huge leap forward, and when the offense comes around, look out." -- Jon Meoli
Yahoo! Sports: No. 7 (dropped one spot)
"Terrell Suggs' season-ending injury is a problem. So too is Joe Flacco throwing for 117 yards in the opener. The Broncos have a very nice defense but the Ravens don't have many weapons in the passing game." -- Frank Schwab
CBS Sports: No. 9 (dropped two spots)
"They lost to the Broncos, but the real hit was losing Terrell Suggs for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. They looked limited on offense against Denver." -- Pete Prisco
ESPN: No. 12 (dropped four spots from last week)
"No offensive touchdowns and 173 yards was not the season debut Joe Flacco and the Ravens were hoping for. No team gained fewer yards than Baltimore in Week 1."
Sporting News: No. 12 (dropped five spots)
"It was a rough Week 1 in Denver, losing despite* *a dominant defensive performance and losing Terrell Suggs in the process. So it's on Joe Flacco and Marc Trestman to find some offensive pop with limited skill personnel." -- Vinnie Iyer
Fox Sports: No. 14 (dropped eight spots)
"The loss of elite edge rusher Terrell Suggs is a major blow to the defense, but there are bigger concerns on the offensive end. The Ravens couldn't get anything going to their wide receivers, and they desperately need first-round rookie receiver Breshad Perriman to get healthy and make an immediate impact." -- Dan Schneier
Bleacher Report: No. 14 (dropped five spots)
"Two West Coast trips in a row start the Ravens schedule. After traveling to Denver, Baltimore will now take the long flight to Oakland to play the Raiders. The last trip didn't go well for the Ravens, but the Raiders aren't nearly as difficult of a matchup as the Broncos."-- Brent Sobleski
NFL.com: No. 17 (dropped three spots)
"Narrow loss in Denver PLUS season-ending injury for Terrell Suggs EQUALS terrible Week 1 for Ravens fans. To make matters even more irritating: Without that Joe Flacco pass right into Aqib Talib's gut, Baltimore definitely could've stolen a quality road W. If I know John Harbaugh, though, this team will bounce right back." -- Elliot Harrison
Tucker Sings Opera In Royal Farms Commercial
Kicker Justin Tucker is pumping out the commercials like he pumps out game-winning field goals.
Following his two Carbiz commercials this offseason, Tucker has a new Royal Farms commercial in which he sings opera about coffee.
"It's certainly a departure from the previous spots for the company, which featured Haloti Ngata, now of the Detroit Lions, being kind of awkward and eating Royal Farms chicken," wrote Meoli.
"I doubt we've seen the last of Tucker in these commercials, but hopefully for the Ravens, Owner Steve Bisciotti's rationale that Ngata would stick around because they don't have Royal Farms stores anywhere else holds true for the Pro Bowl kicker."
McPhee Off To Rough Start In Chicago
In the Chicago Bears' home debut against the Green Bay Packers, the defense didn't touch quarterback Aaron Rodgers a single time.
That means no sacks, no quarterback hits and no takeaways.
That isn't making Chicago media and fans too happy with former Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, who signed a five-year deal reportedly worth $40 million.
"Last season's defense stunk. Ditto the season before," wrote Chicago Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom. "Two years running, the worst in franchise history. Two years running, nearly the worst in the league. Two years running, vomit-inducing.
"I'm most disappointed with McPhee. When he signed, he talked about being 'violent.' When training camp opened, he talked about being a 'dog.' When the season opened, the Bears would've settled for a football playmaker. McPhee made zero impact against the opponent that demands it."
Tomlin Takes No Consolation In Ravens Loss
The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the season with a loss to the reigning Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
They were one of three AFC North teams to lose the opener, along with the Cleveland Browns and Ravens. The Cincinnati Bengals were the only division team to get a win after trouncing the Oakland Raiders.
Guess who doesn't feel better about the Ravens' loss?